The Tree of Life and Tarot

The Kabbalistic Tree of Life and The Fool’s Journey

Fools Journey Kabbalah

Each of the Ten Sephiroth corresponds with a particular number in The Minor Arcana through which their numerical qualities and energy are individually expressed within their own Suit.

The  2nd, 3rd, 6th and 10th Sephira also corresponded with the Court Cards again reinforcing their meaning through the qualities of their Sephira and its number.

The 10 Sephiroth are further broken down into Four Different Realms of Creation from the Supernal World in Sephira 1, 2 and 3 followed by The World of Creation in Sephira 4, 5, and 6, followed by The World of Formation in Sephira 7, 8 and 9 to The World of Action in Sephira 10.

The Four different Realms of Creation are linked to the Chakra System. The Ten Sephiroth also carry a planetary association, once more adding depth and meaning to each stage of the Journey.

This allocation is laid out in the Table below:

Sephira Name Meaning Planet Minor Arcana Court Card
1 Kether The   Crown Big   Bang Aces ———-
2 Chockmah Wisdom The   Zodiac Twos Kings
3 Binah Understanding Saturn Threes Queens
4 Chesed Mercy Jupiter Fours ———-
5 Geburah Strength Mars Fives ———-
6 Tipareth Beauty Sun Sixes Knights
7 Netzach Victory Venus Sevens ———-
8 Hod Splendour Mercury Eights ———-
9 Yesod Foundation Moon Nines ———-
10 Malkuth Kingdom Earth Tens Pages

The First Three Sephiroth represent,  Atziluth – The World of The Supernals – Crown and Brow Chakra

The Second Three Sephiroth represent,  Bria – The World of Creation – Throat and Heart Chakra

The Third Three Sephiroth represent,  Jetzirah – The World of Formation – Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras

The last Sephira represents, Assia – The World of Action  – Root Chakra

The 10 Sephira are linked by 22 connecting paths that chart and guide the progress of each emanation from God/Source.   Each pathway contains lessons that must be understood before progressing on and through the next Sephira.

Each of the 22 connecting pathways corresponds with one of the 22 Major Arcana. Each of these Major Arcana Cards contain the lessons that The Fool must understand or endure before he can confidently move forward.  The Fool must not get stuck on his journey for his mission is to complete it and then return home.   The 22 connecting pathways are numbered by the Hebrew Alphabet.


Hebrew   Letter


Major   Arcana




The Fool




The Magician




The High Priestess




The Empress




The Emperor




The Heirophant




The Lovers




The Chariot







Open Hand

The Hermit



Palm of Hand




Ox Goad





The Hanged Man












The Devil




The Tower



Fish Hook




Back of Head

The Moon




The Sun







Equal Armed Cross/Earth

The World

This may all sound like double-dutch to you right now but as we work our way through the Major Arcana, you will begin to understand the connections and associations.  If you are like me, you will find this area quite fascinating to study.  Remember though that you are not expected to be an expert on the Kabbalah for that is a huge study in itself.  All you need is a basic understanding of it so that you can apply its process to the Major Arcana Cards and the Journey of The Fool.  Believe me, it will make much more sense as you go through the individual cards and I will give you as much detail as possible.  I also need to set the record straight as to my own knowledge of the Kabbalah.  It is basic and I am sure many reading this information will disagree of some of my observations or theories.  When it comes to The Kabbalah, there are many different versions of it, different spellings of the words and different allocations of planets to the Sephiroth.  I am afraid you will have to embark on further studies if you wish to gain a deep knowledge and understanding of this fascinating subject.  There is a wealth of information on the internet and also hundreds of books written on the topic so you have no excuse.

Working with The Major Arcana and The Kabbalistic Tree of Life we can chart the progress of The Fool as he sets out on his journey.  Like all forms of energy The Fool is no different.  He starts out as mere potential and then raw energy before he can begin to take form and realise his full potential.  From the moment of his emanation from the Source or Creator he sets forth on a personal quest for self-definition. He must follow his destiny and find his true purpose in life.  To do so, The Fool travels the 22 connecting pathways from one Sephira to the next.  He cannot skip any part of this journey, for in doing so he would fail to evolve and develop.

The Fool’s journey however, is not finite.  For all his effort and endeavour to reach full realisation and manifestation in the 10th Sephira, it is merely only one journey or cycle completed.  The Fool must then find his way back to the Source and await his next journey.  The Fool will experience each journey in a different manner and will be expected to use his past experiences on each Journey to evolve further until total self-realisation has been secured and then he need journey no longer.

 The Tree of Life – Individual Sephira Meaning


The Sephiroth

Listed Below is a breakdown of The Tree of Life and the Esoteric Meaning of each Sephira.  As we travel with The Fool on his Journey through The Major Arcana we will be exploring each Stage and Pathway of The Tree of Life and its effect on The Fool.   We must remember that The Fool’s Journey also corresponds with our own journey through life.   By getting to grips with The Major Arcana we can greatly assist our own journey and enjoy a deeper understanding of the Self.

1st Sephira Kether  (Crown) is the highest and purest.  It is closest to God and is the source of all creation.  The Four Aces of The Minor Arcana  also reside in Kether .  It is a fitting and appropriate place for the Aces as we see Spirit, in the form of a hand extending from a cloud, offer the gift of the potential of each element to its corresponding Suit.

Astrologically – Corresponds to the ‘Big Bang’

2nd Sephira – Chochmah (Wisdom/Supernal Father) Primal Masculine energy.  The raw force that brings the change to initiate creation.   The Four Kings of the Court Cards and the Four Two’s of The Minor Arcana  also reside here.

Astrologically – Corresponds to The whole Zodiac

3rd Sephirah – Binah  (Supernal Mother/Womb/Understanding)Primal Feminine energy.  Binah  is receptive and gives shape and form to the creation of energy released as it manifests. The Four Queens of the Court Cards and the Four Threes of The Minor Arcana  also reside in the third Sephirah Binah .  This is a fitting residence as the Queens being feminine and the number three related to creation and growth provide the necessary energy to facilitate manifestation.  However, this energy is still abstract at this stage but the first stirrings of creation have been initiated.

Astrologically – Corresponds to Saturn

4th Sephira –  Chesed  (Mercy/Kindness/love). Energy is less abstract now as Chesed  is the first Sephira of Action.  The previous three are connected to the Intellect; Conscious and Subconscious.  Chesed  provides the nurturing stability for God’s emanation as it comes into being. The Four Fours of The Minor Arcana  reside here.

Astrologically – corresponds with Jupiter

5th Sephira – Geburah  (Stength/Judgement/Power).  This Sephira brings with it restrictions, chaos and upheaval. Restrictive and eliminating it can cause energy to die.  The Four Fives of The Minor Arcana  also reside here.  As we know the Four Fives brings difficulties and challenges that must be overcome.

Astrologically – Corresponds with Mars

6th – Sephira Tipareth  (Beauty/ Balance/Son of God) lies half way between The Divine Source in Kether  and the physical or purely world focus of Malkuth (Kingdom/Physical World).  Tipareth’s role is that of the converter and harmoniser.  All spiritual energy from the source must pass through Tipareth  to become physical and all returning physical energy must pass through likewise to become spiritual.  The pure energy of each Sephira on its own is not possible. Tipareth  on The Tree of Life , is unique in the fact that it is connected to all the other Sephiroth except Malkuth (Kingdom/Physical World)Tipareth  acts to balance and integrate all of the other Sephiroth’s energies in order to create harmony.  Tipareth (Beauty/Balance/Son of God) bridges the divide between The Divine God and the Physical world.

The Four Knights of the Court Cards and the Four 6’s of The Minor Arcana  also reside here.

 Astrologically – Corresponds with The Sun

 7th  Sephira – Netzach  (Victory/Endurance) provides the fortitude and determination to succeed in one’s endeavours and overcome obstructions or challenges. It deals with the emotions and feelings and the focussed concentration or control over same.  The Four Sevens of The Minor Arcana  also reside here.   All the Sevens in the Tarot  carry the message of victory as a result of grim determination and stamina.

Astrologically – Corresponds with Venus

8th  Sephira – Hod  (Splendor)  brings the force that breaks down energy into different, distinguishable forms and is associated with mental energy, communication, reasoning, action, movement.  Hod allows the diversity and expression of energy in its many forms.  It provides structure.  The Four Eights of The Minor Arcana  reside here.

Astrologically – Corresponds with Mercury

9th Sephira – Yesod  (Foundation)  Translates spiritual concepts into actions. It is linked to the imagination and the Moon with the energies of reflection and illumination.   Also connected to the sex organs. The Four Nines of The Minor Arcana  also reside here.

Astrologically – Corresponds with The Moon

10th Sephira – Malkuth (Kingdom/Physical World).  Manifestation of all creation; life, ideas, form.  Malkuth  gives tangible form and density to all God’s Emanations. This is the furthest Sephira from the Kether  (Source) but this does not mean that it is un-spiritual.

The Four Pages of The Court Cards and The Four Tens of The Minor Arcana  also reside here.

Astrologically – Corresponds with The Earth.

As a student of the Tarot , your first encounter with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life may indeed be confusing and far too Esoteric for you to grasp.  Many courses start with The Major Arcana  but I believe that it can be off-putting to many students who believe that it is all “too heavy” to follow.  Therefore, I introduce The Minor Arcana  first and by doing so the student is slowly and subtly brought round to thinking outside the box and developing their own Esoteric and Mystical understanding of the Tarot .  When The Major Arcana is then introduced with its deeply mystical and esoteric background, it is not such a daunting task after all.

Do not be afraid of this part of your studies.  I would advise those who wish to delve deeper to do some further study into the Kabbalah and The Tree of Life  for it provides a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that will never go to waste.  It will also make for richer and more meaningful card readings.

The Kabbalah

Lesson 1


Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn
  1. I have a gay friend who is a marvel in tarot Reading. He used to have his own tarot radio broadcasting & I used to be his astrologist. The people used to call to the station & he readily used to cast the cards for the fortunate one that got his turn at the pone. He is amazing. I have studied the Kabbalah myself, but actually not in such depth as I should. I liked Edward Arthur Waite’s book “Introduction to the Kabbalah” a truly master piece. Very good presentation of yours in this page.


  2. Thank you for the presentation. This is the clearest explanation and set of diagrams concerning the tarot and Qabbalah I’ve had the pleasure of finding. Nice work!

    One question, though, Netzach corresponds to Venus, and this doesn’t seem to jive with the “grim determination” aspect you assign to the tree. Yesod corresponds to the sex organs… I’ve encountered these disagreements elsewhere, so clearly this is considered “correct.” Care to comment on this seeming disagreement? You can see where it could cause some confusion. For example, let’s say someone has a sexual imbalance. Which of the sephera/tarot needs to be meditated on to re-balance the issue?


    • Hi,

      Thank you for your message and query. Please note that I do not claim to be an expert on Kabbalah. Like most readers, I have an understanding of it for card reading purposes, but cannot speak on all the theories and concepts involved. It requires a lot of study to gain any level of confidence or expertise. However, I hope to offer some insight for you but highly recommend you go check out sites that specifically cover this area as it is vast. Yes, you will get conflicting advice. For what it is worth, I give you my simple opinion below.

      With regards to Netzach correspondence to Venus and grim determination Venus brings an energy that can easily go out of control. Lives can be made or destroyed by our emotions. Love can both heal and hurt. We become helpless and useless when we let emotions and desires totally govern our lives. Venus brings emotions both positive and negative depending on how they are channeled and directed. Most challenges or blocks that have to be overcome in life stem from the emotions. The victory implied is not one of a military battle but rather a victory over base emotions that stunt our spiritual growth and development. Only very few can comfortably control their emotions, requiring little effort, taking the spiritual approach. For most, it takes determination and can be seen as a challenge. How hard is it to give up drink, lose weight, quit smoking, an affair when they are what we desire.

      All the Sevens in Tarot carry this energy. The 7 of Wands must control the raging fire or it will burn everything in its path. The Fire in itself is a thing of beauty and warmth, but it can get out of hand. The 7 of Cups brings the need to get a grip on the emotions in order to make purposeful decisions. Water brings love, beauty and compassion, but when love becomes disfigured or distorted by emotions it creates dysfunction. A partner may choose to stay with an abusive spouse in the belief love exists. The 7 of Swords brings the need to return psychological order as the mind begins to lose true focus on what is of worth, what is true, what is just, and what can be achieved. It can validate any kind of behaviour whenever it so desires. The mind can very easily run out of control. In the 7 of Pentacles control is sought over our physical and material means. When is enough, enough? How hard do we work, how far do we push ourselves. What must be explored are the emotions that are driving the personality. Are they in balance, are they being positively productive in our lives? If we cannot govern our emotions then we are lost.

      Venus is the planet of pleasure and sensuality, but taken to excess becomes unhealthy and unmanageable. The Empress corresponds with Venus and is the Earth Goddess, the Mother of All creatures. She governs the natural kingdom and symbolises love, fertility, sex and the senses. We must remember that while everything appears to thrive and grow abundantly under her influence, so too do all the weeds. If we do not want the garden of our being overrun with weeds, we need to apply some form of control or restraint. This is not from a religious point of view but simply taking the spiritual approach to enlightenment.

      Which Sephera/tarot needs to be meditated on to re-balance sexual issues really depends on the nature of the issue. If you are talking about unfaithfulness then I believe Yesod would be the best option as this deals with the Ninth Commandment – You shall not commit adultery. The Reversed Nine of Cups would deal with in appropriate sexual excess, The Reversed Nine of Wands with repetitive cycles of behaviour and fire out of control. The Reversed Nine of Swords focuses on the guilt and shame while Reversed Nine of Pentacles concentrates on the destruction or disruption of lives and financial instability, breaching the fortress of another. Meditate on how to Upright any of these aspects of the personality that are in reverse. What does the Upright Card aspire to? Is it an area you can work on? Also look to the Hermit to understand the nature of the self in this manner. If the issue lies with sexual excess or an inability to consciously control desires, then Netzach I believe would be more appropriate as this deals with governing the emotions so that they can be brought into balance. Look to all The Sevens in tarot, both Upright and Reversed and see where the problem lies. Where is there lack of conscious control? Work on aspiring to the Upright aspect of the card. Note some cards are more positive in reverse so use common sense here.

      I hope this has helped.



  3. Thank you, Vivien. That is very thorough and illuminating. Currently I use the tarot for meditation and am preparing for path-working along the tree. As you know, there are many ways to use the tarot. I will ponder and explore what you’ve suggested. I used to do readings professionally, but I now know I was only scratching the surface of this incredibly deep spiritual practice. I believe you are doing a great service to humanity when you make this kind of information available to others. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Miss Desmond Clark

    Hi there — I’m interested in the Kabbalah tree of life poster on this page! I would like to purchase a copy if I could! Can you point me I right direction to purchasing the Qabalistic tree life on your webpage ?? Thanks so much!! Peace and richest blessings!!


    • Hi,

      Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately, the image is not mine to sell. I am not sure of the origin of it but you could try searching google for this image as you will find most images there. Sometimes it will give you the source of the image and you can trace it back to its creator. Some images on google are free to use once you are not using them for commercial purposes. There are also sites where you can find free stock images that are available for all use in the public domain, both commercial and non-commercial. Should I decide to commercialise my site, I will have to remove such images or acquire permission for continued use. I hope this helps.



  1. Pingback: The Fool’s Journey – Firedancing

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